Malawi Lottery bosses bolt after shut down

Hot on the trails of denying the fact that the last remaining top management of the troubled company Malawi National Lottery are about to skip town, Nyasa Times can reveal that the last of the big wigs Levan Lobzhanidze has indeed bolted  leaving the remaining local staff in a tight fix.

“This past week has been rather hectic; we have had several people that the company owes money come in looking for their money. Some have even gone as far as seizing company vehicles…and the company warehouse where they took all the valuables has been sealed my MRA,” one of the remaining employees revealed.

“Today we came in and reported for duties as expected and everything was as expected, only to receive an e-mail late this afternoon from Lodzhanidze telling us that he had left and that should anyone ask us about it we should say he will be back,” said another employee.

Levan Lobzhanidze bolts

Considering the fact that the company did not follow correct procedures in their shut down, and the fact that they owe several people in excess of millions, it is not likely that they will ever set foot in the country again.

The company’s Public Relations Writer Phillip Banda, who had previously denied allegations of the company’s closure, said indeed the company closed.

“You know these foreign investors are business people and while they provide job opportunities, we should not forget that they are not charities. They also want to make money by the end of the day. So business was slack for the past months,” Banda said.

He said the company bossed held a video conferencing on Skype with all its employees in the north, centre and eastern regions to inform them about the closure.

“Employees knew the problems the company was going through. The end was obvious and since no bad news is good news, well, the bad news was received with grief. But to say there was violence or anything, that is not true,” said Banda who added that everybody received their one month notice pay.

However, there were reports that some people have retained company property like laptops, Black Berry mobile phones.

Rumours are also rife that some ladies working at the company’s Blantyre Service Centre had taken advantage of the closure of the company and had stolen fridges, cookers and other things.

“Those are allegations and not all allegations are truths until they are proved. My office never received any news about that. But in case it happened, you know what happens,” Banda said.

Speaking on condition of anonymity, one of the fired employees expressed concern saying this will create a lot of panic as finding a job is not as easy.

“We have to brave unemployment. You know the problems Malawi has with unemployment. Our families will suffer and how we will send our kids to school only God knows,” she said.

Malawi National Lottery had employed over a thousand (permanent and temporary) people throughout the country and was still recruiting. First to close was its Mzimba office where substantial amounts of money went missing.

The company rolled out in December 2011 and operated less than a year. This is not the first time that a lottery company closes immaturely. First was Lotto 5 who only operated for a few months after failing to honour prizes presentations to winners.

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